Once upon a time, there was a story written the day before today that needed to be continued. The fact is, that this is both the continuation, and the conclusion, of that story…
The fuzz was fighting back. Peter was out of the school yard now and was having trouble catching his breath as the grime growing on his teeth continued to increase in size. After five days, it seemed, the commitment not to brush his teeth had finally caught up with him. It usually took Peter four minutes and fifty-three seconds to walk home from school. Today, it took him exactly one minute and twenty-three seconds to run home.
Peter lifted the doormat while huffing and puffing and then fumbled with the house keys hiding underneath. In a seamless action, he unlocked the doorknob, burst through the front door, ran down the hallway, threw his school bag down on the floor of his bedroom and locked himself in the family bathroom. For a moment, this was his sanctuary. With his head leaning against the bathroom door, he took a moment to catch his breath and begin to figure out what to do next. His mouth was now so full of grot and grime that he could only breathe through his nose. It had also crossed his mind that the school would call his mother and that she could be home at any minute. What have I done to deserve this? Peter questioned as he started to brace himself to look into the bathroom mirror.
It was as bad as he thought and he had thought it was pretty bad. The only relief came from the fact that he could tell that the fuzz was no longer growing. If it were, he might not have had been calm enough to start thinking about to claim his teeth back as his own. What does the fuzz hate? he asked himself. Toothpaste! He answered to himself. He found the toothpaste on the sink, squeezed a small amount out and began by rubbing it over the top of the outer layer of grime. It was working, the grime was melting away but only in very small amounts. Peter decided to add his toothbrush to the equation and, although the combination of the mint toothpaste and his toothbrush worked a little quicker to get rid of the fuzz, it still wasn’t quick enough. I need a much larger toothbrush, he thought and he began searching in the bathroom for anything that resembled a large toothbrush.
A hairbrush could do the trick, he proudly thought. He searched the top draw and found his mum’s hairbrush and quickly smothered it in mint toothpaste. He brought it up to his mouth and continued brushing the top layer of grime away. Again, it worked, but nowhere near quickly enough. There was now a sense of urgency and Peter was starting to crack. At that moment, he heard his mother’s car pull into the driveway and he closed his eyes in defeat. Peter had left the front door open so his mum was already calling out once she stepped out of the car. He looked into the mirror and half thought, half mumbled to himself, I’m sorry for this mess. I will brush and floss and gargle twice a day for the rest of my life… just don’t let my mum…
“Are you in there, Peter?” his mum called out. Unable to call back, Peter slowly walked over to the door and, bracing himself, he opened it slowly. His mum looked down at him with a confused look and then asked him if everything was alright. He pointed to his mouth. “Are you sick, honey?” Peter tried harder to point and noticed that he was surprisingly able to move his lips. He put his hands up to his mouth and realized that the fuzz had gone. Vanished. He looked up at his mum and gave her a hug.
“Yes, just feeling a bit fuzzy,” he replied.
“Best you head off to bed then and we will talk later tonight. I was very worried about you.”
Every morning and every evening from then on, Peter brushed and flossed and gargled without as much as a single gag and he felt lucky that he quite liked the smell of the soap that his mother had bought for him to use…
If you missed it, you can read Part One here: The Tale of the Teeth of Peter – Part One